16 Ways of Working as a Host or Hostess in New Restaurant Openings near me

Restaurant openings near me: As a host or hostess, you are the first and last person guests see at a restaurant. Because of this, you must always be alert, attentive and efficient. Keeping the restaurant orderly, making sure guests are happy, and keeping track of what’s going on at each table are just some of the ways you can keep your guests happy.

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Restaurant openings near me

1. Make sure you have all of the supplies you need before your shift starts. You should have plenty of pens and highlighters, a seating chart, and paper for making notes at your host stand. If there’s anything you need, ask your manager to bring it to you. You should also check to make sure there is plenty of clean silverware available.

  • Being well-organized is an important part of being a good host or hostess.

2. Keep track of each section. Make a chart of the table layout and each server’s station. Keep track of how many tables are seated in each section, how many people are in each party, and what time each party arrived. This will help you assign new tables to the servers who have the most open tables.

  • If your restaurant takes reservations, be sure to factor them in when you’re planning your seating chart!

Restaurant openings near me

3. Communicate with your servers. You need to know if a server is overwhelmed with just 2 tables or if they can handle another one even if they already have a 6-top. The best way to know what your servers can handle is to talk to them. Remember that you’re all working on the same team!

  • If possible, ask busy servers if they’re ready for another table before you seat them. You can also ask servers if they’re comfortable handling big groups if you have a large party come in.

4. Walk the floor to keep track of the tables. Sometimes during a hectic dinner shift, you might lose track of who’s already left. If that’s the case, ask someone to watch your host stand and walk the floor with your seating chart. Look for any tables that are marked as seated but which are actually free. You can also check to see which customers have moved on to dessert, as the server in that section will probably be ready for a new table soon.

5. Help to clear and set tables when necessary. You probably won’t be expected to bus and set tables as part of your job description, but you should be willing to lend a helping hand when you’re needed. Wipe down tables, put down silverware, and straighten chairs when you’re not busy doing anything else.

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Restaurant openings near me

6. Greet guests with a smile and welcome them to the restaurant. You’re the first chance the restaurant has to make an impression, so make sure you’re aware whenever new guests arrive. Greet guests warmly, addressing them by name if they are repeat customers. Let guests know right away if there will be a wait so they can decide whether they want to make other dinner plans.

  • Make eye contact. A host or hostess can’t afford to be shy! Making eye contact shows you value a guest’s patronage.
  • If you’re busy with another guest when someone arrives, acknowledge the new arrival with a smile or by saying something like “I’ll be right with you!”
  • Your goal as a host or hostess is to make customers feel welcomed and appreciated—that’s why being charismatic and having a positive attitude are so important.

7. Ask how many people are in the party. Don’t assume that just because 2 people walk in that they will be the only ones in their party. The rest of their group might not have joined them yet. Always ask so you’ll know what size table your guests need.

Restaurant openings near me

8. Ask customers if they have a seating preference. Guests with a larger frame might not be comfortable squeezed into a small booth, and customers who have trouble walking might prefer a seat close to the door so they don’t have to walk as far. Make your best judgement call, but don’t be afraid to ask your customers what type of seating they’d prefer.

9. Answer the phone promptly. The host of a restaurant is usually the one responsible for answering the phone. Make sure you answer the phone promptly and professionally. State the name of the restaurant, your name, and ask the caller how you can help them. Politely ask if you can put them on hold if you’re busy.

10. Maintain your composure even if the restaurant gets hectic. When the dinner rush hits, it can be hard to stay calm and composed, but if you get frazzled, the whole restaurant could become disorganized. If you feel stressed, take deep breaths and remember that even the busiest dinner service will be over in a couple of hours.

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Restaurant openings near me

11. Show your guests to their table. Make sure you do not walk faster than your customers. Walk slightly ahead of them, carrying menus and silverware to the table where you want them to sit. Ask if the table is okay before the customers sit down.

12. Apologize to your customers if they have had to wait long. Most customers expect to wait at least 10 minutes to be seated at a restaurant, especially if they didn’t have a reservation. If your guests have waited much longer than that, offer a sincere apology as you show them to their table. Ask management if it’s okay to comp them a free drink or appetizer (but don’t offer it to the guests until you get permission).

13. Make sure your guests are seated comfortably. If the restaurant is slow, try to seat guests at a table that’s not directly next to another full table. Of course, if the restaurant is very busy, guests will have to sit near other diners, but try to make sure all of your guests have enough space to be comfortable.

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Restaurant openings near me

14. Rotate stations. By seating guests in rotating sections, you’ll help ensure that all of your servers are able to make money for the night. Rotating stations will also help keep servers from becoming overwhelmed by getting several tables at the same time.

15. Place a menu and silverware for each guest at their place setting. You never want to throw all of the menus down on a table, as this seems rude and dismissive. Instead, carefully lay a menu and silverware at each place setting, and make sure your guests are seated before you leave the table.

  • Be prepared to get water or other small items for guests. If they request more than that, politely let them know that their server will be right with them.

Restaurant openings near me

16. Speak to guests as they leave. You’re the last person guests will have contact with, so offer a friendly farewell to guests as they walk out the door. This will help them leave feeling like they had a pleasant dining experience.


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